Downloading from electronic resources

Copyright regulations apply to electronic material in the same way that they do to printed books and journals. In addition, with electronic journals and databases, our access is based on license agreements with publishers. Copyright restrictions and conditions of use do not make easy reading and misunderstanding of what is and is not permitted can occur. To make it easier to understand your obligations as a user of these services you should follow the guidance below.

What's not permitted

Robots and systematic downloading

Systematic downloading using robots, spiders or manual means is not permitted. Publishers keep track of patterns of use and where they suspect misuse in the form of systematic downloading they will cut off access. There have been instances recently where publishers have withdrawn access to their journals to all University of Aberdeen staff and students. This prevents access by the majority of responsible users to information needed for their research and learning.

Downloading more than one article

Downloading, copying or printing more than one article per issue of a journal (electronic or print), without the permission of the owner, is against copyright law. Downloading the entire contents of an electronic journal to your PC, home file space, writable CD or USB stick is illegal.

What's permitted

Viewing multiple articles from an electronic journal on screen

The operation of your Web browser may result in multiple articles being copied to your computer's hard disk. Where there is no intent to store the copy permanently, any such incidental copying involved in viewing an electronic publication is permitted.

Storing or printing a single article per issue of an electronic journal

You can download and copy on to disk or print a single article per issue of an electronic journal.

Most e-journal web sites include a link to the publisher's terms and conditions where consent to copy 'fairly' from an electronic journal may be given by the publisher's licence. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are acting within both the copyright law and the publisher's licence terms.